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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Nearly a year ago, we noted reports of App Store "name squatting", a practice in which users signed for the Apple's App Store developer program could register the name of an application without actually submitting a binary for it. At the time, at least one developer admitted to hoarding "dozens and dozens of good sounding applications names" just in case they came up with an idea to go along with one of the names.


113036-app_name_squatting_email.jpg


Email sent to developers "squatting" on application names (developer name and details altered for privacy)
Over the weekend, TechCrunch noted that Apple has begun to take steps to address the App Store name squatting, contacting developers who had yet to upload a binary within 90 days of creating their application's entry in iTunes Connect and notifying them that they will have 30 additional days in which to upload a binary before their entry is deleted.
But now, Apple has begun emailing developers if they've failed to upload their binary for 90 days after first starting the app creation process. Apple warns the developer that they have another 30 days to do so, or the record will be deleted from iTunes Connect. And the key point: "The app name will then be available for another developer to use."
Depending on how widespread the practice of name squatting is, developers may soon find themselves with additional options available for naming their apps as these names that have been limbo for extended periods of time begin to come off of the rolls.

Article Link: Apple Taking Steps to Address App Store Name Squatting?
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
It's about time! I've got this great app that I wanted to call Fartorama, but the name was taken!

Now I can start making my millions!

:D
 

Maximillian

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2008
290
0
Or just upload a binary that can't be approved (like use a private API or make the app crash on launch).

Problem solved!
 

apttap

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2010
84
0
Thanks apple, it's hard enough to name stuff without people squatting on good names.
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
Good, and next take down domain name hoarding. I can't even use my family name without paying some jerks who simply grabbed up every name in the phone book and wants to sell it back.
 

Voytech

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
62
71
Or just upload a binary that can't be approved (like use a private API or make the app crash on launch).

Problem solved!

Yeah... Unfortunately. Then again, I would assume it takes more than 90 days to develop a larger App.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,365
432
Boston, MA
Or just upload a binary that can't be approved (like use a private API or make the app crash on launch).

Problem solved!

I'm afraid this will happen. Or lousy lame single action apps will be uploaded and then the name is blocked forever.

Apple needs to revamp the App store and delete useles apps and make the names available.

Let's say an app isn't downloaded at leasts 500 times per month (or whatever number works out) it should be deleted. Although this of course will be a legal nightmare.
 

sesnir

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2008
358
230
You could upload a binary of your unfinished product and set the release date to the distant future... then, Apple could review it, and approve/decline, and then it would sit hidden until your constantly-moving release date.

Easy.

That's my plan for my current iPhone project. There's no way we'll be done in 30 days so I'm forced to do the above. Not that anyone would take my app's name, unless they're being malicious.

The only downside is for apple: They'll be flooded with a bunch of unfinished submissions :p
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
I'm afraid this will happen. Or lousy lame single action apps will be uploaded and then the name is blocked forever.

Apple needs to revamp the App store and delete useles apps and make the names available.

Let's say an app isn't downloaded at leasts 500 times per month (or whatever number works out) it should be deleted. Although this of course will be a legal nightmare.

Assuming people play by the rules (e.g. no name squatting in the hopes of fleecing someone to buy the name back), the store should be somewhat self regulating in that regard. You need to pay a yearly fee in order to keep up being a developer, and once you stop paying, your apps are removed from the store. People who aren't serious about being an app developer will eventually get tired of the novelty and stop renewing their fees.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,555
Good, and next take down domain name hoarding. I can't even use my family name without paying some jerks who simply grabbed up every name in the phone book and wants to sell it back.

They don't grab every name in the phone book. They grab every name where someone enquires whether the name is available :mad:


Let's say an app isn't downloaded at leasts 500 times per month (or whatever number works out) it should be deleted. Although this of course will be a legal nightmare.

I am sure there are some highly specialised apps that have a very limited but very keen audience.
 

Jacquear

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
41
0
Australia
Argh I know how you feel

Good, and next take down domain name hoarding. I can't even use my family name without paying some jerks who simply grabbed up every name in the phone book and wants to sell it back.

The domain name I want is a blinking blank site I want it! but not paying a truck load for it
 

akacaj

macrumors regular
Dec 21, 2008
227
0
NY
Whats to stop these same developers from recreating the app name after apple deletes them?
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,636
815
Los Angeles, CA
Or just upload a binary that can't be approved (like use a private API or make the app crash on launch).

Problem solved!

Only so long as they take to reject it. And then the name goes back into the pot anyway. Unless you can fix the problem really quick.

And with the guidelines about 'yet another fart app', poorly written apps etc rejection is very likely. And if you do it to 'protect' a number of names Apple could probably drop you from the whole system for playing games with them.
 

TimTheEnchanter

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2004
732
0
Minneapolis, MN
Again with the "FART" reference and use. I know the "Fart Dude" is on the team, but come on, Apple needs to get a handle on terminology use in light of their public image.

Just saying :rolleyes:
 

Holosynthetic

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2010
25
0
Let's say an app isn't downloaded at leasts 500 times per month (or whatever number works out) it should be deleted. Although this of course will be a legal nightmare.

I actually have an app that makes no were near 500 sales a month, yet it is very professionally produced and offers the user a great wealth of use for what they need it for. I don't think it would be fair to remove apps that don't perform well because its assumed they are fluff. My app called Repair Ticket offers a lot more functionality than fart button apps, yet the latter has a much wider audience and is downloaded more. No reason for developers like me to get the short end of the stick!
 

NinjaHERO

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2008
944
1,142
U S of A
I like this policy. Name squatting sucks. But I wonder if they will have to play with the time frame a bit. Is 90 days enough time for every app to be finished and submitted?
 

NinjaHERO

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2008
944
1,142
U S of A
Good, and next take down domain name hoarding. I can't even use my family name without paying some jerks who simply grabbed up every name in the phone book and wants to sell it back.

While I can understand your frustration, this is not the same thing. Domain names must be paid for each year. So a 'hoarder' is paying for the right to keep that name off the grid.

It sucks when you can't get a name you want (something that frustrates the crap out of me some times) but a first come first serve system that cost people money to maintain is really the only fair way.
 

robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,732
Atlanta
Zzzz....slow news day.

I personally find this particular story very interesting and newsworthy.

Why is that every time some dingus isn't interested in a particular story they post 'slow news day' or 'this is page one?' or something else like that. I guess unless the story is announcing a new Mac or iPod iPhone that hasne't been announced ANYwhere else, it shouldn't be given the GLORY of a page one news story?

This 'page one' elitism has got to stop! LOL.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,313
33
LOL. Joe Blow.

Let me guess, it's the JoeBlowApp?

Wonder if there is an actual Fartorama app?
 

ckurt25

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2009
1,032
367
Michigan, USA
This is only going to stop the little guys that haven't developed an app and have no plans to. As was stated earlier, someone can just upload a simple binary to keep from losing the name.

I am a developer and have games in the App store. I work full time doing something else and only get 5-10 hours a week to dedicate to development. To get something decent out with only 5-10 hours a week I need much more time than 90 days.

I can't imagine they're gonna hold the big developers to the same standard. If ID, Gameloft, EA, PopCap or someone like that registered the next big game and didn't get it out within 90 days I'd bet they can make a phone call and get an extension. Of course they've probably already registered their URL, gotten a copyright / registered a trademark for the game and gone through much more leg work than an independent developer like me would / could. Plus if I tried to go to Apple and register Madden 12 I'd have a team of lawyers at my front door.
 
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